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Dr. Chase Kelly, DDS, 29
Owner/dentist, Kelly Dental
Growing up, Chase Kelly liked working with his hands. In college at Drury University he decided he liked the health field. He likes people, wanted a good life outside of work and to be able to own his own business. So he made the decision to pursue dentistry. “It just kind of seemed like the perfect fit,” Chase says.
So Chase attended the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Dentistry, and returned to Springfield following graduation in 2013 to work with Dr. Irv Miller, who was nearing retirement and planning to sell his business. After just a month and a half, Chase purchased the business on South Enterprise in Springfield and renamed it Kelly Dental. Dr. Miller stayed on for the next six months and still provides counsel for Chase when he needs it.
Chase has added Invisalign, tooth color fillings and other specialty treatments to his practice, and he has remodeled the office since taking over. He seeks out the best products and newest treatments and takes special pride in helping people improve their appearance and feel better about themselves through better dental health. “When they go to a mirror and say ‘That’s amazing!’ I get a lot of satisfaction out of that,” he says.
Chase is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the American and Missouri dental associations, and Springfield Dental Society. In his spare time, Chase gives dental talks at Springfield schools and churches, volunteers for The Kitchen Dental Clinic, and will travel to Nicaragua this year with Project Hope to provide dental services there. Chase is also a successful Cat 1 mountain bike racer and will race for a pro team, Kuat, in high-level events in Arkansas this coming season.
Job title and where you work: Dentist/ Owner of Kelly Dental
Education: Glendale HS 2004, Drury University 2008, UMKC School of Dentistry Class of 2013
City or town where you live: Springfield
1. How did you end up at your current job/profession?
I feel it is important to use your gifts to help others. I have always enjoyed working with my hands whether through hobbies or to solve problems. I am blessed in the way that I can do both as a profession. After exploring different healthcare professions, I realized that dentistry was a perfect fit. After completing my education, I was presented with an amazing opportunity at a Springfield dental practice that had many commonalities with my practice philosophies. I teamed up with this successful and well-respected dental team and after about six months, transitioned into ownership. My family has their own local business, so the autonomy and growth potential of being self-employeed greatly appealed to me. I have an experienced team of myself and three others who have been together since June of 2013.
2. Where do you find passion to do what you do?
My passion comes from my patients. I want to provide the best experience I possibly can for my patients while meeting them at their desired level of care. The greatest feeling is having someone sincerely appreciate the experience of our team. Whether it is through a simple checkup, or a complex case, happy patients fill my passion.
3. Are you single/married, and do you have any kids?
I am currently in a relationship. I do not have children but look forward to having a family in the near future. My beautiful girlfriend, Michelle, happens to be a hygienist. We met as next door neighbors when I was 7 and she was 4. Perfect right?
4. What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
I am a cycling enthusiast. I have been racing cross country mountain bikes since 2006 and am currently racing with a local team of great friends for an innovative and awesome company, Kuat. Another of my favorite things to do is hunt and fish. Anything active and outdoors is where I am found in my free time. I am very thankful for my health and the beautiful Ozarks.
5. Are you involved in any charitable organizations?
I set aside multiple times a year and provide necessary dentistry for those with dental needs. I use a few different avenues to provide care including future plans for regular volunteering with the Kitchen Dental Clinic and Project Hope. I am also involved in Northpoint Church's Community outreach programs where we provide dental supplies and free dental screenings to local children. Since this community is where I was raised and work, I like to be a part of giving back to the great people who lack access to care. I am also a member of Midwest Off-Road Cyclists and the International Mountain Bike Association. I also support trailspring through trailbuilding and trail awareness. These organizations provide support to local trail projects and accessibility efforts.
6. Are you a member of any professional organizations?
I am currently a member of the American Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Missouri Dental Association, The MDA New Dentist Committee (member), the Springfield Dental Society (social chair). I am a part of the Business Exchange which is a group of Business owners in Springfield who mentor and enrich eachother through weekly meetings.
7. How would you define the secret to success?
In my experience the secret to success is to never be complacent. Learn from mistakes and continue to do what works. Don't be afraid of change, keep moving forward, and keep your mind on the big picture. The small things will distract you from big things. Continue to educate yourself and evolve your skillset.
8. What's your favorite thing about your career?
My favorite thing other than the people is the artistry and technology. As I continue to learn and use new techniques and materials I am amazed at the potential of today’s dentistry. When I am able to meet and exceed the expectations of the patient and myself it is extremely fulfilling.
9. What's your favorite thing about working in 417-land?
My family and friends are very important to me. Most live in 417 land and have called this home for most of their lives. Sharing life with them, while meeting new people is why I chose to make this my permanent home. There are many strong business minds in Springfield, and as a college town we are already seeing some sustainable improvements take place in a relatively short amount of time. I see Springfield becoming an even greater place to live as the years go on!
10. If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
In high school it is very easy to get caught up in trying to please everyone, or fit into what you see as ideal. I would have said to stick to what you're good at and what makes you feel good. That is what will help develop who you are and what you will be.
11. What was your “dream job” at age 5?
I always wanted to be a doctor. The first job I can remember wanting was to be a neuro surgeon. I liked working with my hands in detail so it just kind of sounded fun.
12. List three traits that define a successful career:
Perseverance, trust in your choices, don't be controlled by fear.
13. Why are you a 20 Under 30?
I am just one of the many people who would qualify for this honor, but I guess I would say a mixture of hard work and open doors.
14. What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
I spend many hours a year on continuing education. Right now I am focusing on maximizing a positive patient experience and enriching my dental techniques and team.
15. What completed project are you most proud of?
I completed a partial remodel of the office back in April of 2014. My sister, Shailey, who is an interior design major really played a big role. This really made the office fit my personality, and gave me pride in showing off our space!
Fill in the following blanks with five words or less:
Happiness makes life worth living.
A day at work wouldn't be complete without grateful patients.
Ten years from now, I hope I'm a well-respected member of the community, husband, father and dentist.
If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would invest most, save some and get some new gadgets for the dental office.
The best part about being a 20 Under 30 is being recognized for making a difference and strengthening my involvement in the community.